The Hoax: A Memoir (Paperback)

The Hoax: A Memoir By Clifford Irving Cover Image
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Description


A “fascinating” memoir—and the inspiration for the movie starring Richard Gere—from the man behind the forged autobiography of Howard Hughes (Time).
 
Novelist Clifford Irving’s no-holds-barred account of his faked autobiography of Howard Hughes—one of the greatest literary hoaxes of the twentieth century—is the ultimate caper story.
 
The plan was concocted in the early 1970s, when eccentric billionaire Hughes was already living as a recluse in the Bahamas. An American author, Irving pitched the scheme to his friend, fellow writer Richard Suskind: Through forged letters and fake interviews, they would recount Hughes’s life “in his own words.” Meanwhile, Irving’s wife would open a Swiss bank account in the name of “Helga R. Hughes” using a fake passport. Their success hinged on the assumption that Hughes would never resurface to challenge the book, as he had not spoken to the press in over ten years.
 
Conning Irving’s own publisher of nearly a decade out of a six-figure advance, the three conspirators embarked on a hoax that would fool journalists, handwriting experts, and even a lie-detector test. It was not until Hughes himself emerged from seclusion to denounce Irving that the book was exposed as fraud.
 
This madcap, bestselling memoir “is a story which reads like the best thriller fiction and which contains the seeds of a dozen movie scripts. Mysterious meetings, false passports, a beautiful Danish baroness, Swiss bank accounts . . .” The Hoax is a masterpiece of international intrigue and startling revelations (The Tatler, England).
 
“Brilliant!” —Newsday
 
“A masterpiece!” —CBS Radio
 
"Spellbinding!” —Publishers Weekly
 
“Sensational!” —New York Daily New

About the Author


Clifford Irving (1930–2017) was the author of twenty books and the perpetrator of “one of the biggest literary hoaxes of the 20th century” (The New York Times). Born in Manhattan, Irving graduated from Cornell University and traveled widely before taking up residence on the Spanish island of Ibiza. He published three novels and a biography of Hungarian art forger Elmyr de Hory before launching, in 1970, a scheme to write a fake autobiography of the billionaire recluse Howard Hughes. Irving forged letters, made phone calls from exotic locations where he claimed to be meeting with Hughes, and duped CBS News correspondent Mike Wallace in an interview on 60 Minutes. After Hughes emerged from seclusion to say that he had never met Irving, the scheme fell apart. In 1972, Irving pled guilty to conspiracy to defraud and served sixteen months in federal prison. He documented the escapade and its aftermath in The Hoax (1981). His other books include Tom Mix and Pancho Villa (1982), The Angel of Zin (1984), Daddy’s Girl: The Campbell Murder Case (1988), Trial (1990), and Final Argument (1993).
Product Details
ISBN: 9781497644755
ISBN-10: 1497644755
Publisher: Open Road Media
Publication Date: September 16th, 2014
Pages: 328
Language: English